On the Road to a Jobless Recovery

Unemployment in the United States currently hovers at 10 percent, and more than 17 percent if involuntary part-time and discouraged job-seekers are included. And according to most forecasts, it is likely to remain above pre-crisis levels for at least three years. In good times, the economy might generate 400,000 new jobs each month. Today, the United States needs about 15 million jobs to make up for recession losses, population growth and labor force drop-outs.

Despite record numbers of people being out of work for six months or more, the Obama administration and conservative Democrats in Congress—spooked by Republican hysteria about deficits and “big government”—are failing to address this crisis.

“There’s no shortage of creative ideas for increasing employment,” CEPR economist John Schmitt says. “The only shortage we have is the political will to use appropriate job-creation policies.”

Addressing America’s real deficit problem—a deficit of political will—requires organizing grassroots pressure far beyond the scale of that small spring meeting in a room honoring the memory of Eugene V. Debs. Read more